Monday, December 26, 2005

vegas baby part 2

Thursday
We wake up and head to the Paris for lunch, then the Wynn to check it out. The poker room here is pretty nice. HOWEVER it is pretty expensive. The lowest they spread was 4-8 and it looked pretty cramped as well. We didn't have time to stay since I had to, uh, do stuff. Like watch the Vegas Bowl game. Cal beats BYU 35-28, not enough to cover the spread but enough to laugh at Mormons. By this time it is 10pm.

I wind up at the MGM again for some reason and sit down with $100 at a 3-6 table, getting bad cards for a while and involving myself in too many pots in bad position (-EV). My good hands don't do so hot. Somehow I find myself down to $20 and essentially go all in with 97s, and a straight draw lets me triple up when it hits the river. AQo also takes down a pot when I flop trip queens and I leave when I'm positive (+$8).

Where do we go? Back to the Excalibur for the fishy tables. I sit down at a 1-3 NL table fully expecting to just drink and have a good time. I don't remember too much about this table, but I did make another cool $60 with good cards. We had one guy clearly playing too many hands (calling with KTo against a 5x raise). My only disappointing hand is as follows:

JOGURT HAND NUMBER NINE
66 in MP. One limper to me. I limp of course, as do two others for five to the flop. We get a flop of 5-6-7 two spades, which is good but not great for me. I bet about half the pot and get called in two places. The turn is a 7. I hesitate and decide to bet anyway, knowing that anyone with an 8 and a crappy grasp of pot odds will probably call. Of course it would have been better to check and let someone try to hit the straight or flush. At the time, my concern was losing the pot (it was already pretty big) to someone with a 7, should they hit their full house. Of course, anybody with a 7 would have called my small bet and maybe even raised there. I should have checked the turn and committed myself to all my chips on the river regardless of what fell and who bet. Curses! I still take down a good sized pot when the other two people in the pot fold.

It's 3am and we decide to sleep.

Friday/Saturday: [Caesar's, Excalibur, MGM]

Sunday, December 25, 2005

maximizing EV on ten hours of sleep over an 80 hour time period

VEGAS BABY

I got back from Vegas just yesterday after spending 3 nights there, WITHOUT McPeePee unfortunately. We missed his expertise and table insults. This entry will contain only stories about poker hands.

Wednesday
We arrive at about noon and I waste no time in finding a poker room. I head over to the MGM and sit down at a 1-2 NL table with a meager $100 buyin. This would be my first experience with live casino NL play. I hit a few hands and steal a few pots and I'm +$60. Most people gave me credit for hands, which I had, for the most part.

JOGURT POKER HAND NUMBER ONE
One exception was when I had AQo on the button, two limpers to me. I raise to $15 (7.5x) and I get called by the SB and one limper, SB being a solid player. Flop misses me completely with 9-5-4 rainbow, but I think I may have the best hand so I bet about 1/2 the pot when it's checked to me. SB calls me. Turn is a K and I bet about 2/5 of the pot. SB looks at me for a few seconds and folds, telling me my AK is good. He shows me a 9 and says he would've checkraised any other player when the K hit and hopefully made them throw their hand away. I smile, realizing that NL appeals to the kleptomaniac in me.

The MGM poker room is really nice. I do believe it's the sweetest low-limit poker room in the city, with cushioned chairs, good modern lighting, and waitresses serving Red Bulls till the roosters crow. Oh, we'd be back.

For some reason we leave, and I head over to the poker room at the Monte Carlo despite not hearing much about it -- 9 tables (MGM has 30-something), random players. I sit down at another 1-2 NL table and much to my annoyance there are three friends sitting in a row to the left of me. They won't compete with each other, but they will take shots at me for sure. I should've left earlier, but I was too cocky. Arrogance is a vice, kids.

JOGURT HAND NUMBER TWO
Four or five limpers to me in the BB. I look down at a beautiful AK of hearts, which I want to play against a smaller field, since this isn't limit and I'm not yet fully experienced with letting go of TPTK hands. I raise to $15 and I only get called by a wonky player in middle position. Flop is a nasty A-A-2 rainbow. If I bet here, he'll almost certainly fold unless he has an ace. If he has a pocket pair he might take a shot at me. If I check, I might not get any action at all. I figure it looks suspicious to not bet, so I bet out $15 on the flop. He just calls. Turn is an 8 and I'm thinking my trips are good. I check, he bets $20, and I checkraise him all in (another $40 more to him at this point). He quickly calls and shows 22 for the flopped house. I miss my seven outs on the river and he eats my stack. I'm not sure what I can do there with the best non-fullhouse hand, I don't think there's any way I can let it go unless we're both really deep stacked.

I buy in again and lose another $70 in random hands, some to the triple friend team. Jerks. One guy limped in with AKo when his two friends were SB and BB, and checked to the river with TPTK. The least he could do is bet and have them fold. :( There's got to be some etiquette here.

JOGURT HAND NUMBER THREE
QTo, three off the button. No limpers, I haven't won a hand and I've only shown down AKh earlier, so I raise to 6. I get called to my left (doh) and by the BB, three to the flop. Flop is Q-8-6 rainbow. BB bets out $10, and I min-raise to $20 total. My left raises to about $60 total, and BB thinks before moving all in (he has us both covered). I can't fold fast enough, while my left thinks for a long minute before calling (another $60 to him or so). He shows AQ, which holds up against the BB's Q9. Good hands all around. I can't steal pots. :(

I also meet a hilarious British guy here who clearly knows NL strategy and has an easy tell. If he bets strong, he has a good hand. Also a cocktail waitress called me adorably cute when I smiled at her, and she said that if she was any younger (she was 40+) then I would be in trouble. I wanted to tip her more but I lost money. :(

After dinner, I find the poker room at the Rio, which has three tables going. I see some old ladies and depressed old men at the 4-8 table. Despite being a little early in the week for 4-8, I am pretty sure that I am a better low-limit player than them, and I sit down with $200.

JOGURT HANDS NUMBERS FOUR THROUGH SIX
Despite this being the fishiest table ever, I manage to hit the crappiest run of cards. My KK runs into AA on a great J-9-6 board (he didn't 3bet from the SB despite having something like 6 players limping in and my raise in the MP) and falls flat. My QQ in the BB (I raised) senses that it is way behind in a K-9-3 flop with six people to the flop. I have TT in the BB with something like seven limpers, and I raise since I'm cocky and because the raise is marginally +EV (my hand is probably the best preflop, but is extremely vulnerable -- I should have no problems letting it go on a bad board). The flop is K-Q-J and I easily fold the river when I miss my straight draw and K3 and K6 chop the pot.

Afterwards we head over to the Excalibur, which has a fairly large poker room of about 20 or so tables, with a good amount of low-limit games going at any time. This particular casino usually spreads 1-3 and 2-6 (which allows you to bet anywhere between 1 and 3 (or 2 and 6) bucks per betting round, leading to larger pots earlier but smaller pots later, and more family pots overall). I sit down at a 1-3 table after Mike and his friends tell me how stupid everyone is. He's right. They're stupid. I make an easy +$60 while ordering all kinds of redbullvodkas, screwdrivers, and gin'ntonix from the waitress, pretending to be drunk and instead playing suited connectors and top ten hands. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM

JOGURT HAND NUMBER SEVEN
To give you an idea of the softness of the table, I hold 74s in LP. There are two limpers to me, so I raise to $2 (-EV, but screw you) and the BB plus the limpers call. Flop is T-8-8, giving me absolutely nothing. I bet $2 anyway and only get called in one place. Turn is a 4, so I bet $2 again and get called in one place. I am done with the hand and we both check the river. He turns over an unimproved AKc and my hand is good.

I get five hours of sleep.

Next post: THURSDAY [Wynn, MGM, Excalibur]

Friday, December 23, 2005

TOTD #3

When you log in to your favorite online poker room, pay attention to the pop-ups and ads that you usually just gloss over. Oft times they may let you know about some good deals or special tournaments going on that day or the near future. All it takes is a couple of seconds of paying attention. Come on, you can survive through that.

Daniel Negreanu's Protege - What the hell is this? Seriously, anyone have a clue? Don't tell me he's gonna pull a Donald.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tip of the Day #2

When playing online, always take advantage of any reload bonuses offered. The easiest, quickest, and free way to do this is to open up a Neteller account to easily transfer funds to and from your poker accounts. Whether you play on Party Poker, PokerStars, or any number of other sites, reload bonus are constantly offered throughout the year, and is free money you make while playing. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse, so do it you bum.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Apologies

I know I've been MIA for a while now. Relatives in town and a lot on my plate for the timebeing, so not much time has been devoted on my end as of late. The next big update will be coming soon, in the meantime check out our links and various stuffs, and send in any suggestions or site links you may have.

Tip of the Day #1: Stop expecting too much.
WOrry about playing your hand correctly, not about what the outcome can or "should be," and stop thinking about how this next pot will get you even for the night.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

This probably wasn't post-worthy but I had to note that I played 600 hands last night. Here are some hands that I received.

AA, 9 times
KK, 5 times
QQ, 8 times
JJ, 3 times
TT, 4 times
AK, 7 times

Between the 3/6 and 5/10 tables, I only netted about $375 (approximately 6bb/100). Shouldn't I be completely destroying the game getting AA, KK, and QQ 22 times in 600 hands? The odds of getting any specific pocket pair are 1/221. I also had a 21% win rate at the 6man tables, although I played shorthanded quite a bit.

There are a few large pot hands that stick out in my mind. Here is one of them. No reads on villain. The preflop raiser is not particularly tricky; he raises pocket pairs and suited connectors preflop, and was caught raising QJs on the button. Doesn't raise good aces for some reason.

***** Hand History for Game 3181292413 *****
$5/$10 Texas Hold'em - Sunday, December 11, 02:36:53 EDT 2005
Table Table 66197 (6 max) (Real Money)
Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 2: TrickyTroy ( $260 )
Seat 3: TigerSave ( $510.50 )
Seat 4: HERO ( $709.93 )
Seat 6: stephen212 ( $0 )
Seat 1: VILLAIN ( $165 )
Seat 5: my1back ( $70 )
TrickyTroy posts small blind [$2].
TigerSave posts big blind [$5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to HERO [ Ac Ah ]
HERO raises [$10].
VILLAIN calls [$10].
TrickyTroy raises [$13].
TigerSave folds.
HERO raises [$10].
VILLAIN calls [$10].
TrickyTroy calls [$5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jd, 5s, 9h ]
TrickyTroy bets [$5].
HERO raises [$10].
VILLAIN calls [$10].
TrickyTroy raises [$10].
HERO calls [$5].
VILLAIN calls [$5].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 9s ]
TrickyTroy bets [$10].
HERO calls [$10].
VILLAIN calls [$10].
** Dealing River ** [ Ts ]
TrickyTroy bets [$10].
HERO calls [$10].
VILLAIN raises [$20].
TrickyTroy calls [$10].
HERO calls [$10].

Crying call at the end. I'm almost certainly beat, but the pot might be too large to fold.
[Villain has Q8 for the rivered straight. Troy has KJs for top pair.]

I think raising the flop is fine. I think raising the turn is better, after I get 3bet from the sb. On the turn, the way I played, there are 11bb's in the pot after Troy bets, and if I raise here, I force villain to get 13:2 odds on his call, which makes his 10:1 gutshot call incorrect. Flaccid calling here cost me a pot. I was definitely mad at myself after this hand. If I get 3bet from either player after showing turn strength, I can probably just call to the river or fold without too much thought.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

jog: results for november

3/6 only:
hands played: 2796
amt won: 307.61
bb/100: 1.83

This month sucked because of homework and because of that one (my fault) PL hand where I lost 200 bucks. My biggest losers were 87o, 22, J9o, and 55. It just might be time to stop playing unsuited connectors in crappy positions, especially since they're so speculative. Frankly I don't remember playing them very much anyway. 22 and 55 were probably my fault, or I didn't hit any sets.

All in all this month probably wasn't very good for stat-tracking, since I didn't play very many hands. Here's hoping that the winter will be better.

#4 - Live in the Present

Here is a link to PokergameFan's short review of our site. Not exactly a glowing endorsement, but bad press is better than no press at all. We will constantly be working to develop and enhance the site, so keep checking in and voicing your comments. Keep it coming, and let us know that you're finding this information entertaining and useful.

In Zen and the Art of Archery (a book Howard Lederer refers to often as a guide on how to maintain focus and mental attitude while playing), Sun Tzu refers to the zen notion of "living in the moment," without worrying about the past or future, but simply being and doing. This highlights one of the keys to getting good at the game, which is being able to forget about recent bad beats and past misfortunes, not worry about how you're going to "get even" or explain to your wife how you lost next month's rent, and just play the hand.

As Tony Robbins would say, if you focus on the negative, you tend to move towards it." How many times have you suffered a bad beat and revelled in your own misery and self-pity. You might complain to friends, the players seated next to you, or anyone who will lend an ear...all the while not paying any attention to what's going on in front of you. As any poker player worth their salt will tell you, that's no way to play the game no matter the stakes or the situation. In order to move past the "average Joe" level into the realm of a great player (or even just really good and consistent), you must be able to take each hand exactly as it is, an individual game with a separate result which is statistically separate from previous hands.

Instead, what you must focus on is collecting information about players' individual betting styles, tells, your image to others at the table, and the other factors which elevate your play above those of your opponents. Instead of focusing on the negative result of yet another incredulous suckout, focus on your play. Was it correct, given your knowledge of the odds, your opponent and his possible holding, and given past and future considerations? If it was, then you've done what you needed to, and that in itself is a small (if not financially beneficial) victory.

And if my last statement there seems to contradict what I said earlier in this post, another thing you have to recognize and apply in your game is when to break the rules and deviate from "conventional wisdom." It's something that comes easier with time, and why many say this is a game that takes "a lifetime to master."


Coming up: Son, you need a plan

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